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Topic: A peek at an upcoming Photosynth feature and site layout

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Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hello friends,

Yesterday I saw a video that features an additional option for publishing panoramas on Photosynth as well as a brief look at what may end up being the next redesign of the layout here on photosynth.net

If you're interested, take a look at this video: 
http://ch9.ms/BFV8
And read a bit more on this page: 
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/multiimagefusion/#ice

Bear in mind that although the video says that ICE 2.0 is available, the video seems to have been posted a few days early.

This sort of panorama support in Photosynth has been suggested and hinted at from very soon after Photosynth was released, so it's great to hear of progress being made in that direction.
http://getsatisfaction.com/livelabs/topics/suggestion_panorama_mode
http://photosynth.net/discussion.aspx?cat=ceca0f30-0f7c-4468-811a-32b623ea8563&dis=c10805c1-8c0b-43ef-a550-3e18e6856e29
TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Nathaneal, do you miss anything?  We are indeed working on this, and yes you can see a bit of our redesigned view page.  We're in the middle of some final integration testing with ICE and we'll be shipping as soon as we have all the pixels looking pretty.

Like what you could see?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Very very much. =) Of course... I am the polar opposite of the people who complain every time that Facebook changes their layout. If it's newer, it's got to be better, right? Well, nearly always, anyway. I'm afraid my appetite for news and progress around subjects that interest me (like Photosynth) is merciless and insatiable.

I can only hope that the page that we see when clicking on 'My Photosynths' is a little more clear in its visual cues if you're sticking to the tabs for information architecture. I think a lot of people don't notice the tabs on their current profile page.

I still would like to see the sort of delineation in search results that Zune pulls off. (e.g. results separated by synths, users, etc.)

I think my favorite part is that the synths seem to be given a much more cinema-like status at the top of the page and that when you scroll down to see the description, you can't miss the comments, etc. Hopefully that increases comment frequency.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I will have to say that as much as I compliment the team on wanting the synther to work for everyone with as few unnecessary requirements or strain put on the system resources, I feel like a few common questions such as "Why can't I push the 'Synth' button?" could be easily resolved by adding some tasteful subtle animations by using WPF for the interface, rather than Windows Forms or whatever you're currently using. 

If it was going to eat up my RAM that would be better spent reconstructing my synths, though, I guess a more vibrant synther is an acceptable sacrifice.

Also, I'm assuming that this dedicated panorama case will be built into the synther itself, rather than forcing people to use ICE. If not, then things are getting far too fragmented between installing Silverlight, the synther and D3D viewer (don't take D3D away yet...), and downloading the Photography Guide separately. Going to download ICE as one more separate piece is really taking things too far.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I'm also hoping that if the synther continues to send people to GetSatisfaction, that it uses GetSat's newer query syntax so that the results there are as pertinent as they were when you launched, rather than hitting the Live Labs front page on GetSat amidst Seadragon topics, etc.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I must admit that I wonder what the 'Play' icon does now in panoramas. The pan left and right button is helpful, as are the traditional [+] [-]. 

I really like the little tracking node on the central rotation|navigation control, showing where you are in the context of the pano.

What's the timetable for bringing more of HD View's features over like the dynamic exposure correction, etc.? I've been keeping an eye on HD View SL, but it seems to just be a default Deep Zoom control the last time I checked.
TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Guess I can address a couple of your points.  We havent touched the profile page too much, but we have made My Photosynths more prominant, and it's now the default "tab".  Everything about the view page is now better (IMHO), to the point that I cringe when looking at what we currently have on the site at this momment.  What's coming is just sooooo much better.  Cant wait for you to see it.  As for the play button in panoramas?  Well, Im going to leave that one as surprise.  Let's just say that depending on how much work the author puts into it, it will have different behaviours.

One thing that's going to dissapoint you is that you do need to use ICE to make this happen.  We do have plans for tighter integration going forward, but for now you'll have to live with it.  

Stay tuned...
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hmmm. I know it's not the case now, then, but do you think that in the future there will ever be the case where the viewer can arrange the separate input photos on the fly into the seamless stitch. I know that process involves all sorts of little warps and unpredictable blend seams as well as exposure adjustment to neighboring input shots with different initial exposures, but it would just be so great to see it be done non destructively so that both the original data and the synthetic data are both available to compare and contrast.

I suppose, the main argument in defense of the way things currently are for structured panoramas is that the individual shots required for a good pano aren't really that interesting on their own.

Also, I don't know how far down the line this is, but I've been fascinated since 2008 at what possibilities there are for MSR to do next generation stitches now that Photosynth exists. That structural data has to mean good things for stitching
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